Well, with gift-giving season sneaking up, we have some interesting ideas for the person who has everything. Whether someone on your list has dabbled in drone aircraft or has shown an interest, this is the best time to launch into the world of drones. That’s because this fall’s new releases are epic, by far the best batch of drones to come along—ever.
1. GOPRO Karma
You’re probably familiar with GOPRO video cameras, namely, ones that are handheld or that can be used with their version of a selfie stick. GOPRO has been the first name in capturing skateboarding, surfing, even running. It’s now extending its reach with its first ever drone, the Karma.
Capturing video from above is now becoming more and more desirable and in demand. GOPRO provides this capability with its drone quadcopter, which you can buy with either the Hero5, Hero Session, or a camera your drone user already owns. It has a center focus feature which has it flying in a circle, keeping whatever is below in the center of the frame.
The Karma also has its Karma Grip, a short rod that attaches to the user’s shoulder and takes video of the user himself during the action or can turn around to get point-of-view footage of skiing, biking, etc.
One thing that is setting the world of drone enthusiasts on fire is the backpack that ships with the craft and that is specifically designed to safely hold it.
This video drone is absolutely not a toy, not someone’s first drone, and not for whizzing around a park—it takes great video and is designed with the adventurer in mind.
2. DJI Mavic Pro
Those familiar with drones know that while GOPRO is now entering the field, DJI has been around as one of the industry leaders for quite some time. Its models, Phantom and Inspire, have gone over well with people interested in shooting video.
Now, DJI has released the Mavic Pro, a small, very portable drone with a built-in camera that is meant to compete against the Karma. The four arms of this copter fold in and create a very small, sleek little unit when it’s folded.
The Mavic is a bit more performance-oriented than the Karma, traveling a bit faster, with a slightly longer battery life. It also has a feature that senses and avoids obstacles, a trick missing from the Karma. It just lacks the various little accessories that help a user shoot video in a variety of ways.
What the Mavic Pro does include is a lot of sensors, satellite control, a feature that follows a user shooting video, and another that finds a user who waves at it and shoots video of him or her.
3. DJI Phantom 4
DJI Phantom 4 is the predecessor of the brand new Mavic, a little quadcopter that looks a bit like a Star Wars droid and is equipped with a small camera. This was the first DJI drone to incorporate obstacle avoidance and similar auto-fly features.
The camera shoots 4K video, which is sharp and crisp, almost TV quality. It comes with a pretty hefty handheld controller that includes a screen for touch control. This last feature is what caused DJI to begin to market the drone as exceptionally easy to use, particularly when one considers the sensors and avoidance.
However, it reaches top speeds of roughly 45 mph and packs a wallop if it crashes into something. In general, no matter what safety features are in place, only experienced drone pilots should fly one.
This drone is a bit more all about flight and less about the video. It doesn’t come with a lot of features meant to capture images in a wide variety of ways, isn’t foldable and portable, and is made more for people interested in just enjoying a nice flight, even if they do shoot some video.
The Closing Thoughts
The drone industry is changing rapidly. But if you and your loved ones have not yet gotten your first craft, your procrastination may be fortunate. The field has just made some tremendous leaps forward in terms of being able to capture video in a variety of ways. GOPRO and DJI are locked in a pretty fierce battle, and they figure to be poised to each come out with new and exciting models. But because of the portability, the abundance of thoughtful and clever features, and the high-quality video of these new models, one probably needn’t wait to see what the next new thing will be. These newest drones are worth the investment.